The Fiberistas sculpture, “La Cage aux Fowl” is one of 30 out of 100 entries selected for the outdoor exhibition, “Art in the Orchard.” This show of sculptures and site-specific installations takes place at Park Hill Orchard, 82 Park Hill Road, Easthampton, MA from August 17 through November 23, 2019.
Many different fiber techniques and materials were used in creating he members’ pieces, as well as some specialized ones to give the pieces structure and strength for surviving outdoors for several months.
Sally Dillon’s long tailed quetzal was inspired by a trip to Costa Rica many years ago where she witnessed these resplendent birds in their natural habitat. The quetzal she created is made of felt over a styrofoam core, to make it light and waterproof.
Flo Rosenstock’s peacock in a peacock chair was inspired by a large long necked gourd which seemed to suggest the body of a peacock. it was covered with felt, and holes were drilled to hold the feathers which were created from felt and costume fabric, and anchored with plaster poured into the gourd. The head was created from a felted vessel made by Nina Compagnon.
When Nina found a deer antler, she knew it could become the talon of Roxane, her raptor with wings outstretched, which she created from silk, felt, feathers and beads.
Nancy Young’s two whimsical bird-like characters that float and fly from the top of the cage were created by collaging colorful cotton fabrics and stuffing them to shape their bodies.
The two flamingos which Margaret Stancer created, are named Fanny and Frank. After experimenting with wire and paper-mache, she decided to use PVC pipe to create the life-size, three dimensional body structures, and I carved the heads from styrofoam. The shape for the necks was achieved by filling the pipes with sand heated to 500 degrees in the oven, which made the pipe flexible and kept it from kinking when bending it.
Martha May’s multicolored bird-like creature, titled “In Drag”, referencing the original “La Cage aux Folles,” was made from strips of fabric using a pull-through loop technique. Her nesting bird, sitting contentedly in the nest, was crocheted with yarn she made from her stash of quilting fabric.
For Martha Robinson, the flight of swallows feeding at dusk was the inspiration for “Swoop”, her piece that suspends the fabric swallows from strings so that they can float in the wind. For the “Black Winged and Black Hearted Tweeter,” she used basketry reed which she lashed and wove to form the shape.